Today, we are announcing that Airbnb Co-Founder Nathan Blecharczyk will become Chairman of Airbnb China as we continue to scale our operations in one of the largest markets in the world. As Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Nathan is ideally positioned to ensure our organization does everything possible to make Airbnb China even stronger and travel on Airbnb even more magical. Nathan will travel to China on a monthly basis.
As Chairman, Nathan will be responsible for enhancing all aspects of Airbnb’s services in order to build on our momentum in China. He’ll also ensure that our strong team on the ground in Beijing and Shanghai will have a direct line to leaders in our San Francisco office who can give the China team all the support they need from our global team.
His leadership comes at a big moment for Airbnb. Chinese travelers using Airbnb are now just as likely to travel domestically as they are abroad—a major milestone in the growth of Airbnb in China. This is significant because Airbnb, the world’s leading hospitality company, has always been the only company offering millions of properties across 191 countries, but now over the past year we have also developed a significant domestic offering in China, too.
Today, there are more than 120,000 active listings in China and as we’ve grown we’ve continued to set ourselves apart with our focus on home sharing — we have the most single-listing hosts and the most unique properties in China. Our global audience has driven significant value for our hosts in China — in one twelve month period, there have been over 2.25 million guest arrivals in Airbnb listings in China, a 287 percent year-over-year increase. Compared to last year’s Golden Week, domestic Airbnb bookings in China nearly tripled. All told, China is Airbnb’s fastest growing domestic market ever as well as our second fastest growing outbound travel market ever.
We’re excited to do even more in this important market, and while we’ll have more news in the weeks and months ahead, here’s some of what you can expect:
More, Better Listings
As we continue to grow we will be relentlessly focused on quality. Today, we have a team on the ground in China that focuses on supporting our hosts, including helping hosts have the highest quality listings and deliver magical experiences to their guests. As part of our work to ensure we have the highest quality listings, we removed thousands listings in China that didn’t meet our standards.
In the next year, the number of Airbnb team members in China who serve hosts will more than double and we will implement new functionality that enforces strict quality standards. We will be accelerating on the ground preparation and training for hosts. We have already hosted offline community events in Beijing and Shanghai. In the weeks ahead, Nathan will personally meet with dozens of prospective hosts and in 2018, we will conduct more than 100 of these kinds of host education sessions in 10 cities across China.
Help Millennials Experience Local Cultures Across Asia and Around the World
There are 400 million Chinese millennials, more than there are Americans. Millennials are driving business and consumer trends and Airbnb is increasingly popular with millennials in China and around the world. Today, 80 percent of our user base in China is under 35 and 62 percent of all outbound Chinese tourists will be 15-34 by 2019.
Airbnb is well positioned to deliver Chinese millennials the magical travel experiences they are seeking. Today, we have 24 times more listings than our two closest competitors in the 10 most popular outbound travel destinations. This year we also rolled out our Experiences product in many of these destinations and we’re excited to build on this foundation. We’ll be aggressively expanding our home, experience, and forthcoming new offerings in these markets.
We’ve learned important lessons about how Chinese hosts and guests interact with Airbnb and share their experiences — according to our analysis, our Chinese hosts and guests are more likely to use their mobile device to access Airbnb and more likely to share their experience on social media platforms than Airbnb community members in any other country. We will continue to invest in the power of our mobile application to help guide travelers to off-the-beaten path locations and provide them with conveniences that make travel easier. We will also ensure our travelers are well supported, wherever they are, with access to improved, top-tier customer support available 24/7.
Working in Partnership with Governments
We have worked to put in place partnerships with governments, including agreements with leaders in Chengdu, Chongqing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou. Just last week we launched the Airbnb Guilin Rural Community Tourism program. The project, focused in Jinjian Village in Longsheng County, Guilin, is aimed at promoting rural tourism in Guilin and Airbnb and the Guilin government will work together to identify and promote new economic opportunities for locals through home sharing.
We also recently met with the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) and Beijing’s Head of Tourism to discuss ways to support inclusive tourism. We look forward to building on this record of accomplishment and working with local leaders to ensure they understand how Airbnb can help residents earn extra money and bring more travelers to neighborhoods they might have missed if they stayed in a hotel.
We will keep you updated on our work to strengthen our leadership team and community in China and around the world.